Bringing Cairo's iconic retro street culture (and street foods) to life in a gorgeous open air setting, the Cairo Marriott's Ramadan tent is one of the most vibrant we've been to.
Nothing says Ahlan Ramadan more than a walk through a typical Egyptian street as the aromas of sizzling meat, steaming hot fool and a cooling karkade. But what if we told you didn’t have to venture into the unknown nor risk eating questionable street food? The most unique Ramadan kheima this year, Som3a Basha at the Cairo Marriott Hotel has transformed into a scene straight out of National Geographic as they celebrate Cairo street culture, with a gourmet difference. We’ve been heading over there most nights this Ramadan for Sohour and always leave satisfied and ready to take on another day of fasting.
From the minute you walk in, the retro decorations set the tone for one of those stories your parents always tell you about, filled with glittering lights, Arabesque patterns and good old fashioned street food carts. We took a walk because the weather was gorgeous as Som3a Basha occupies a breezy open air space at the historic palace. We settled down and ordered a shisha, because you know, it’s not Ramadan without shisha. With all the flavours in the world, the smokaholics among us tell us its some of the best shisha they’ve had in Cairo.
Time moved on quickly and our iftar-filled stomachs were soon empty again; it was time to discover the food. Walking around we were drawn towards a make-your-own-omlette station, and you know we Egyptians can’t have eggs with fool. So we checked out the fool cart and it was quite literally a fool cart that wouldn’t be out of place anywhere in Egypt. With different oils and toppings, we haven’t had a fresher and better seasoned plate of fool in a long time. Served with freshly baked bread, the smell of which filled the place, we considered this our starters, before getting on to some seriously protein packed plates. Returning to our table with plates piled high with kebda and sogo2 sandwiches, and around a kilogram of grilled veal, chicken and kofta, it was basically a second iftar.
With all sorts of classic Ramadan drinks, from soothing sobia to tangy tamr hendi we wiled away the hours, returning to the food stations every now and again to really, really make sure we were ready the next day. With waiters recommending the best dishes of the day, a gorgeous set up made for big groups and lovely Oriental music setting the tone, Som3a Basha really does revive the true spirit of Ramadan.
Find out more about Som3a Basha on the Cairo Marriott's official Facebook page.